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As we continue the last few words in the basket of words; we learn that each one has purpose.
We have learned about courage, willingness, trust, tenderness, power, balance, change, rest, healing, and compassion.
The eleventh word in this series is play.
It seems like a strange word to talk about when discussing recovery from childhood trauma.
For many children play was not a part of the growing up season. Life was serious and hard.
During the summer my husband used to volunteer at a camp for children in foster homes.
For one week these kids get to do childhood things such as play, swim, art, archery, run, and relax.
They also go back home with a homemade quilt just for them.
In the middle of the week they have what they call a Birthday party.
For many of the kids there was never a party, a celebration of who they are as a child.
They have cake and each child participates in the festive evening.
Children who live in difficult environments often have a difficult time relaxing and letting go of responsibility.
They often have siblings, taking care of each other as they did in the trauma filled home.
Sometimes they are in separate foster settings, so it’s a gathering together that is very emotional.
For the adult in recovery finding time for fun is against much of what was taught.
Laughter is not always easy, or relaxing and letting go.
In recovery groups I have seen adults breathe a sigh of relief, perhaps for the first time;
when they let go of the heaviness that once surrounded them.
Sometimes when healing begins the one in the process feels guilty for feeling playful.
It is retraining the mind and spirit of a child. Even as an adult…letting go is important.
After the recovery process takes place feelings such as play, laughter and delight begin to
settle into the heart of the one healing.
I know for me humor was always a hidden gift, and when healed on levels that were safe,
my humor came up and often was an addition to the room.
Many times I had people telling me that I was funny.
Only when I allowed healing to replace memory, did I feel free enough to finally enjoy the peace that was given to me.
As we continue the last few words in this basket, the eleventh one is play.